Walk, Don’t Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures

At the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, Ca.  December 7, 2019-August 3, 2020

  By Harvey Kubernik © 2019 

Sixty years after the release of their first hit, “Walk, Don’t Run,” the Ventures are considered the most influential, best-selling instrumental

Courtesy of Fiona Taylor

 

band in rock and roll history. To showcase the group’s impact on pop culture, guitar players, and their worldwide fan base, the Grammy Museum® in Los Angeles, California has just announced Walk, Don’t Run: 60 Years Of The Ventures, a new exhibit showcasing original items from the group’s six-decade career including instruments, tour programs, never-before-seen photos, vinyl, and more. 

The exhibit will open on Dec. 7, and will run until Aug. 3, 2020.

On Jan. 9, musician Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (who has been associated with the Ventures since the 1980’s and has done recordings with them over the years), Fiona Taylor (Mel Taylor’s widow and band manager), and other special guests to be announced soon will be at the museum to discuss stories behind the exhibit with Scott Goldman in the Clive Davis Theater.

“It’s such an honor to have an exhibit dedicated to the Ventures at the Grammy Museum and be recognized for our impact on music history,” said Don Wilson, founding member of the band. “I like to think that, because we ‘Venturized’ the music we recorded and played, we made it instantly recognizable as being the Ventures.  We continue to do that, even today.” Continue reading

The Kinks Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire

50th Anniversary Edition Now Out on BMG & ABKCO Formats: Deluxe Box Set, 2LP, 2CD & Digital

By HARVEY KUBERNIK © 2019 

To mark its 50th anniversary, The Kinks today announce a special release of Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire released

Album Cover Courtesy of BMG

last October 25th on BMG & ABKCO, the Kinks 7th studio album is one of the greatest rock albums ever made, a near perfect example of Ray Davies’ incredible storytelling ability in what was an innovation in 1969: a concept album. It’s also poignant that a record based on the story of emigrating from the UK around its potential to enter the Common Market should hit its 50th anniversary right now. With Brexit on the horizon, the themes of Arthur ring alarmingly familiar.

Arthur received unanimous acclaim on its release. Each of its 12 original album tracks is an absolute gem and all perfect examples of Ray Davies’ intrinsic ability to weave a story around a song. In what was a golden period for the Kinks, Arthur followed another classic, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society when it was released on October 10th 1969.

In the midst of the Arthur sessions, studio time was devoted to completing tracks for Dave Davies’ proposed solo album. The idea had progressed in staggered intervals since the initial success of Dave’s 1967 single, “Death Of a Clown” but, ultimately, never reached completion. Continue reading

John Mayall Autobiography

Courtesy of Jane Ebdon

Blues From Laurel Canyon: John Mayall: My Life as a Bluesman Just Published  

BY HARVEY KUBERNIK © 2019 

John Mayall OBE has been indefatigable in his commitment to the blues: virtually every musician who went through his “Bluesbreakers” academy went beyond their wildest imaging. Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Taylor all began their careers under Mayall’s rigorous training.   

On November 14th, Mayall’s autobiography, Blues From Laurel Canyon: John Mayall: My Life as a Bluesman, written with Joel McIver will be published by Omnibus Press.      Continue reading

CLASSIC COUNTRY MUSIC

By Harvey Kubernik © 2019 

The 5 CD deluxe box set edition of COUNTRY MUSIC – A Film By Ken Burns (The Soundtrack)  (Legacy Recordings, a division of

Album Cover Courtesy of Columbia/Legacy Records

Sony Music Entertainment, in association with Universal Music Group ), which chronicled the diverse roots, evolution and stylistic diversity of 20th century American country music is the companion to the 8-part (16.5 hour) documentary which premiered during September on PBS-TV. 

The collection and television broadcast further reinforced the influence and impact of this musical genre that continues to inform pop, rock, jazz artists and Americana catalogues.       

COUNTRY MUSIC – A Film By Ken Burns (The Soundtrack) followed the 2006 2-disc DVD set of The Best of the Johnny Cash Show, hosted by Kris Kristofferson distributed by CMV/Columbia Legacy, a division of Sony BMG Music Entertainment. 

The Johnny Cash Show debuted on June 7, 1969 and ran until March 31, 1971 which exposed the Cash invited country, pop, jazz and rock artists to new ears.  Continue reading

James Taylor: The Warner Bros. Albums 1970-1976

Linda Ronsdadt 1969-1974  

Chris Darrow The Real-To-Reel

By Harvey Kubernik © 2019 

On July 19th, music journalists, record reviewers, writers, online bloggers, influencers, radio programmers and deejays started touting and

Photo Courtesy of Rhino/WMG

praising the 50th anniversary of James Taylor’s landmark Sweet Baby James album that is housed with five other Taylor titles as both 6-CD and 180-gram, 6-LP sets, as well as digitally. The Warner Bros. Albums: 1970-1976.   

Potential chroniclers and targeted consumers for this Taylor package that implements Sweet Baby James, nominated for two Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, should know additional information and regional facts pertaining to this landmark SBJ disc, the nascent Southern California folk and country-rock genre, and Linda Ronstadt’s 1969-1974 touring and album repertoire multi-instrumentalist Chris Darrow unselfishly helped establish and develop.  

I recently glanced at James Taylor: Long Ago and Far Away, the first definitive biography of the singer-songwriter by Timothy White published in 2001. A writer and critically acclaimed author, White was editor-in-chief of Billboard magazine from 1991 until 2002. 

I was miffed that noted songwriter Chris Darrow, a co-founder in 1966 of the influential eclectic psychedelic world beat band Kaleidoscope and a contributing force in creating the 1968-1972 SoCal folk and country rock/soft rock sound in Sweet Baby James mentioned only as “a nifty fiddle player.”   Continue reading